Should You Bungee Jump?


so there’s this phenomenon known as
high-place phenomenon and it’s this terrifying feeling this sense that some people have as they get near the edge of a cliff face or the railing of a tall building and it’s not exactly a fear of heights but maybe something that’s all a bit more concerning it’s the fear that they might actually jump so what’s sort of otherwise mentally healthy individual would even consider ever throwing themselves off of something like this that’s crazy right? or so one would be tempted to think but Florida State University did research on the topic and their findings seem to suggest something different a strong percentage of the people surveyed who otherwise claimed to be mentally healthy said they had experienced the exact same phenomenon so far the research tends to
suggest that not only is this feeling more common than expected but it also
might actually be healthy the urge to jump might very well be the brain overcompensating for some cognitive dissonance some mixed-up signals and
instead of being able to make you afraid of the height itself the brain
makes you afraid of yourself and hopefully they’re right and we don’t have some sort of hidden secret
death wish but until we come to terms of
those feelings it’s probably not a bad idea to consider using some sort of safety mechanism anytime you’re playing on a rock wall or a tall ledge and something like this rock climbers harness is part of a system designed to keep you safe consisting of what’s basically a seat made out of nylon webbing heavy-duty stitching d-rings anchor points and carabiners all this attach to what might be the most
important part the cord and all designed to safely stop or at least rapidly slow your descent if you end up
taking that plummet this one works out really well if your whole goal is to
avoid taking a fall but if the fall but if the leap itself is something that
you’re more intrigued in you may want to take a look at the island nation of Vanuatu on the southern part of Pentecost Island one of the 83 islands that make
up the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu the local population is far more
interested in the custom of land diving a ritual that involves tying tree vines
to your ankles and diving headfirst off a 30 meter high wooden tower towards the ground below known in the local Sa language as Nagol or sometimes just shortened to Gol the legend behind this brazen ritual goes something like this one day one of the local Pentecost Island men Tomili was abusing his wife and she had enough so she went the only place she could she ran into the woods but Tomili followed with Tomili in pursuit she climbed a tall banyan tree to try to hide but he soon found her and climbed up after as he was climbing she realized there was nowhere left to go so she reached down and grabbed one of the Liana’s that was growing around the
tree and tied it to her ankles and in the moment tumuli tried to catch her
she jumped from the tree Tomili didn’t know she had tied vines around her
ankles and he jumped after her but without the Liana’s holding him back he
fell to the ground and died and to this day the men of the island practiced
this jump with lianas tied to their ankles so women will never outsmart them again and sure any truth behind this legend
would be nearly impossible to verify and even the facts themselves tend to change
depending on who’s telling the story but that’s all kind of beside the point
because the men of Pentecost island have been performing this jump for
generations now it’s nearly impossible to know how
this jump may have changed over the generations or really even to know how
old this tradition may be but the most modern incarnation was first discovered
on Pentecost Island shortly after World War Two and this modern-day precursor to what we now call bungee jumping can be perfectly summed up in this 2002 article
intro in the National Geographic magazine by Zoltán Istvan saying “Vinuatu’s world-famous land diving ritual the Nagol sounds like a
traditional form of bungee jumping but after watching the first diver leap off
a wooden tower reaching upwards of 25 meters 75 feet and crashing into the
earth below and the 300 person crowd erupting into tears it’s obvious that
was happening on the Pentecost Island is something radically different” radically different is probably one of the more accurate ways to describe it so it kind of makes sense I guess that a sport first described to the outside world in the 1950s would still wait another two decades before finally taking shape elsewhere in the world I mean disaster stories of foreign visitors coaxing Pentecost natives into performing that jumps out of season where the necessary vines are really only elastic during certain parts of the year coupled with the unsettling idea of entrusting your life to a cord tied around your ankles yeah the concept kind of took a little bit to warm up to and although it’s rumored that American Army soldiers may have experimented a little bit don’t they always the first credited modern bungee jump didn’t take place until April 1st 1979 when David Kirk and Simon Keeling jumped off the Clifton
suspension bridge attached to homemade elastic cords that they made in their garages in a stunt that would pave the way from modern bungee jumping since those first modern jumps and largely credited to the introduction of organized commercial bungee jumping in 1986 there have now been several million
successful bungee jumps across the globe and these days people almost seem to
flock to enjoy the sensation of jumping from something high and well not dying
but instead slowly bouncing to a stop but without those time-tested seasonally
elastic vines tied to their ankles how are these maniacs even able to survive
these jumps I mean that’s pretty reckless right can you ever actually
safely predict how a cord might behave before you ever even hook it up and take
a leap hook hooks laws of principle in physics that tells us that a truly elastic object will stretch in direct proportion to the force that’s being
applied and the equations usually written out as F equals KX now this equation is super useful as far as bungee jumping is concerned because as long as you know the stiffness of the spring or cord that you’ve gone ahead
and attached yourself to as well as the force that your jump has generated on that cord you can very easily go ahead and find out how far that cord will
stretch or extend as long as you’re comfortable and knowing that in the
standard SI units and here’s how this all works since force equals mass times acceleration bungee professionals need to take your weight in kilograms and multiply it by the gravity of the earth
approximately in order to find your force and Newtons they can then take that number and
reinsert it into the equation assuming they already know the
spring constant or stiffness of their cord and from here it’s pretty simple
you just take the force divide it by the spring constant and what you have left
is the amount of meters that your cord will stretch now it’s important to note that
this number is only approximate because rubber is extremely sensitive to
temperature and load rate meaning that in certain circumstances it can even be considered a non-hookian and material and this can be somewhat of a troubling fact
for a first-time bungee jumper so I made sure I went ahead and asked the Bungee
America staff how the cords are designed to overcome this deficiency the way it works is that the cord is actually all rubber cords inside of a cotton and nylon weave okay so what you get is you know each strand of rubber they’re actually they’re like ribbons and when you tie them all together you
get a solid core of rubber okay and so it’s woven inside or is it more like kern-mantle? it comes out of a machine in different
strands and they when it goes together it doesn’t matter if it’s weaved or not it’s just crushed together by the outer sleeve now what wraps around the outer sleeve
you first get a cotton sleeve and the cotton sleeve protects you from the
abrasion of the nylon sleeves all right now the reason you put the
nylon on is because that acts as the secondary backup so the cord won’t
stretch longer than the nylon sleeve and second of all it helps with abrasion so if you haven’t yet had a chance to check out that previous episode on cordage I highly recommend giving it a look it explains some of this at breadth but basically that nylon sleeve he was just referring to it’s made out of some
pretty tough stuff and there’s good reason why nylon is used for making cords and harnesses I mean essentially what nylon lacks an elasticity it easily makes up for with its high tensile strength and comparative lightweight so
even if the rubber inside your bungee cord stretches much further than
anticipated the woven nylon outer sheath will stretch very little before suddenly
stopping your fall much more reliable than seasonally-stretchy vines so if overcoming your fears means facing them head-on then maybe overcoming that high-place phenomenon or at least coming to terms with it means actually giving in to the urge and if that’s the case then all you
really need to do to survive that jump is harness up and take a leap [music] so here’s my junky setup this setup keeps taking way longer than it really should but looks like we got it set about half an hour to go and deal with these flies and keep watching so no one steals this thing

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